Friday, August 26, 2005

The Mess of Creating

Most projects start out with a nice clean picture in my mind of the finished piece. Sometimes (like Coin Purse, from the 8/19 post), it's a process of inventing as I go, but mostly it's a process of steps and problem solving to get the end result I want.

Once the idea has settled, and the work begins, whether it's spinning, dyeing, warping, or gathering materials, there's still plenty of opportunity to make choices, and course corrections, as creating never seems to move along with simple ease. Sometimes, when I get to this *thinking* part of the process, I have to put the work aside and take my time. I usually notice a certain sense of fear, or resistance, at the point of the project where I'm either forging new territory, or learning some technique I have not used before. It's very exciting to work through this part of any project: I'm anxious to see if it all works out.

In my current project, I am trying something new, and it has reached the *messy* stage, where I need to keep track of where I am, and pay attention as I make decisions. It's a bit more tiring than the usual flow of the process, but, as I said, more exciting, too. And, as the project nears completion and it all pulls together, it's very rewarding. That's why Coin Purse, and Evening Bag, from the two previous posts, still remain my favorites from their respective series: they were challenging to create (and they worked! some don't).

Here's the current mess:

silk pile4 2005

It reminds me of knitting argyle socks (not that I ever have) with all the bobbins to keep straight:


And then there is the mess this mess creates:

silk bits

(As usual, you can click on the photos for a bigger view).

A few posts ago, Valerie commented on the inherent nuttiness of spinning lots of yarn in order to cut it up into tiny bits, and yes, it does seem a bit nutty. But the yarn, once it's spun, is just yarn. Yes, it's pretty by itself, but it's also *useful* and the next step in the process is fun and has it's own beauty. *And*, rarely mentioned but really fabulous: I can use thrums from other projects:

silk thrums3

Thus I *save* bigger bits, to make them into littler bits. This creates a storage issue in the studio as I save bags of thrums:

bag of thrums

To add another layer: after knotting the thrums into pile, I end up with even smaller little bits, as in the photo above, which, believe it or not, I save:

silk bits2

and send to a friend who does silk fusion. These little bits become inclusions in her fabric, little sparkles, so really, nothing goes to waste!

So this means I have bags of thrums-too-good-to-throw-away, and then other bags of tiny clippings, all of which must be stored *somewhere*. The studio is bursting. I've been cleaning out. I really mean it this time, I'm serious. Really.

I started with magazines and books. I found a home for a whole pile of old SpinOffs, and next on the block are weaving and beading magazines. eBay is now my friend. After I get my first few auctions under my belt, I have scads more to list. I feel so virtuous clearing out, making room on the shelves for the things stored in boxes in front of the shelves. Yep, making room for bags of little silk bits, and slightly bigger silk bits (and wool bits. We haven't mentioned wool bits). Soon, I may even be able to (gasp!) see the floor.

Mess comes in many forms, even reaching into this blog. Despite having to register to make comments, spammers have gotten through, forcing me to go through steps to delete their sorry asses. So, I'm trying out the *word recognition* feature, to see if I can cut the creeps out of the loop. I'm sorry for this, hope it's not too unwieldy and onerous, except to the spammers.

Last: thanks for the birthday wishes! I'm glad you are enjoying the photos of bags, and yes, there are many puns left unbagged. There are more in the series, but there is an endless number I never got to, before moving on. I'll keep posting old stuff, whenever the new stuff is just too messy.


Blogger Deanna said...

Even your messes are beautiful. :-)

As I looked at that luscious pile of little bits, the first thought that came to my mind was to sprinkle them on top of a piece of fabric, top it with a piece of organza, and stitch the layers together, catching the little bits in between. No idea what such a fabric could be used for, but it was fun to think about.

Bravo on pouring out the cup to make room for the refill! What is your trick for letting go of spinning and weaving magazines. That would seem the hardest to me.

12:01 PM  
Blogger dragon knitter said...

i would think those tiny bits of silk would be good additions to spun wool. there's an aussie spinner i read on a regular basis who sprinkles silk in her spinning. very pretty. i was reading an article in in-knitters about silkworms, and silk production. oooooo tempting.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Amy K said...

...or you could include the little bits in making felt for a nice sparkle.

9:21 PM  
Blogger cathy said...

"creating never seems to move along with simple ease."

I hear you on that.

9:04 AM  
Blogger claudia said...

I am looking at all those bobbins and thinking, "why is she weaving up/knotting only a part of the design at one time?"


6:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm sorry it seems so zen then hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm-hi to claudia.

the colors are magnif-you are more resourceful then I with old publications. Mine usually end up in the recycle.

yes sara the movement to move is moving. went through 643 listings the other day managed to salvage about 20 possibilites.

Keep on girl-you are a shower of radiant color on an otherwise bland canvas.

9:18 PM  

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